What to do after moving into a new house
Posted December 10th, 2020 by natalie
Moving into a new house can be an exciting yet chaotic time. You’ve saved up and done all the paperwork, dedicated time off, sorted removal and transport, and finally turned the key in the lock of your new home. But now what?
Now, the transition period begins. But it doesn’t have to be all stressful! Work your way through our handy checklist to help tick off anything you’ve missed when it comes to moving into your new home.
1. Make sure your new home is safe and secure
A new home means a new area, which means you need to do a new security check of both your house and its perimeters. Find out if there is a neighbourhood watch scheme and if there’s been any recent burglaries. Checking in and introducing yourself to neighbours goes a long way; learn more about how to be a good neighbour.
If you haven’t already, check out the statistics for your new area with a tool like Crime in the UK, which gives accurate police data for your postcode.
It’s a good idea to double check all windows and doors to see what lock systems are in place. If there’s any jams or faults, you need to get on top of these right away. Plus, you may want to change all locks anyway for reassurance in case any of the old owners’ keys have gone missing.
If there’s a burglar alarm already installed, don’t get too complacent here as it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It may be old, unreliable, or simply not work anymore. It’s best to refresh with a new burglar alarm system that’s all yours, and not just any standard one as there are some amazing, intelligent ones out there now. With smarter security, you can rely on monitored alarm systems that do the hard work for you, taking care of dispatching the police, so you’ll never need to worry no matter where you are.
Setting up your security
Depending on the burglar alarm system you’ve chosen, you may need a professional installation, but with others, you can set them up simply by yourself. Take a wireless home security system like SimpliSafe for instance, it can take just a few minutes to plug in a base station, and to place sensors around your home - no need for drilling or tools. Sensors should be placed near points of entry, like near patios, windows and doors. You should place security cameras near front doors in hallways and back doors to capture burglars head-on. If you have a baby, you could place one in their room to keep an eye on them.
If you have a panic button, these are best placed in the bedroom ready to be pressed discreetly to trigger an alarm and to alert a monitoring centre. Smart alarm sensors have advanced so much, as now you can have smart sensors for water leaks, dangerously low temperatures, glass breaks, as well as break-ins and smoke.
Motion sensor - Detects only human motion within nine metres, so no intruder goes unnoticed
Glassbreak sensor - Detects the distinct sound of glass breaks in break-ins
Smoke detector - Don’t let smoke go undetected, stop a fire in its tracks. With visual verification and professional monitoring, fire response will be dispatched for you
Temperature sensor - Trigger an alarm if your home drops below 5°C to prevent pipes freezing or bursting
Water sensor - Avoid flood or water leak damage with a sensor that alarms whenever it comes into contact with water. Place them near common household water sources
If you have kids, a new house also means new child safeguarding and childproofing in this unfamiliar space. Place sharp edge protectors on furniture, like coffee tables to avoid children bashing into them and causing injuries. Make sure tall, big units are braced to walls and that cables and plug sockets are not causing trip hazards. Check out our ultimate guide on home safety for kids.
For those of you with furry family members, another thing to check is how accommodating your new home is for your pets. For outdoor cats make sure cat flaps are quickly added to your to-do list and don’t forget about loose wires and cables - protect them from rabbits with cable covers or flex tubing or better yet, keep them out of reach.
2. Unpack and recycle
This may be an ongoing task, but unpacking your boxes and sorting out your items needs some order so you don’t get bogged down with it. With all those cardboard boxes and newspapers you may have with packages, it’s important you’re mindful of recycling. Check your local recycling bins, the colours and what can and can’t go in them.
If you’re an organised person, chances are you’ve labelled all your boxes and so you can begin by assorting them all into their matching rooms. Start with essentials, the belongings you’ll need for your first post-move week. Take out basic utensils to put together some meals, toiletries to keep you fresh and hygienic and some cosy seats and beds to rest inbetween unboxing and shifting.
3. Get to grips with the utilities
Moving house and area means you’ll need to learn more about the local council if it’s a major change of borough or town. With this, you should make sure you know about your local electricity, water and gas suppliers to go over tariffs and any new changes to them. Inspect meters, take readings and get to grips with them to better monitor bills, tariffs and energy suppliers. Assess how energy efficient your home is. Are there any quick fixes or adjustments you can do, like putting down draught excluders? Anything else you have noted you can work on along the way.
4. Notify people and relevant organisations
Close family and friends may already know, - they may have even helped with the move - but don’t forget to tell extended family members so all family and friends are aware. Inform utility companies and important institutions like the DVLA, electoral register and your bank. Make a list of who you need to contact and inform, and check through it one by one. Then you need to remember any shop accounts you have and update delivery details on them, but of course you should organise in priority order.
5. Make the house your home
Finally the fun part! Whether you’ve virtually brought your old house with you or you’re starting from scratch, you can now start to make your new house really yours. Of course, this may take a little while, depending on what you have in mind, but right from the first day you move in, you can begin to add those homely touches. What scents do you like? Unwind and relax after the long days of unpacking and sorting with your favourite scented candles, incense and bath bombs. Use mood boards or Pinterest to develop colour palettes, decorating ideas and niche interior design. You may not have it fully decorated within the first week (kudos for anyone who manages this!), but you can begin planning and designing in your downtime.
It may take a bit longer for you to finally feel settled into your new house, but focusing on these checks first and foremost will help you breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re more organised and have covered the important stuff. These checks are guaranteed to make you put safety, security and house management as priority, and will help put order back into that chaotic time of moving house. If you’re in the process of moving house, check out our ultimate moving house checklist, so you don’t leave anything out!